Christian Salem

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Christian Salem (born 15 July 1995) is a Lebanese descended professional Australian rules footballer playing for the Melbourne Football Club in the Australian Football League (AFL).

Salem’s talent was recognised from a young age when he received state selection in the under-12 Victorian side as a midfielder and played his junior career with the Hampton Rovers Football Club. Salem later played in the 2012 AFL Under 18 Championships as a bottom-aged player and played in the winning grand final kicking two goals.

He received a scholarship through the Australian Institute for Sport AIS-AFL Academy as part of their level two squad in the 2012 intake and received mid-year state honours for the second consecutive year.

Salem was eventually recruited by the Melbourne Football Club with their first selection and ninth overall in the 2013 AFL National Draft. During the pre-season for Melbourne, he suffered from a thyroid issue which saw him lose six kilograms in the month following the draft.

He played the 2014 start of the season in the Victorian Football League (VFL) for Melbourne’s reserves team the Casey Scorpions. After strong form in the VFL, including a 32 possession game in the VFL round 3 match against the Frankston Dolphins at Frankston Park, he made his AFL debut for Melbourne in the 31 point loss against Sydney at the MCG in round 6.

Senior Herald Sun football writer, Jay Clark, wrote in the Herald Sun in late 2014, Salem had the potential to become one of Melbourne’s best players.

After playing his debut in 2014 season as midfielder, (and a majority of matches as the substitute), the Melbourne coach changed Salem’s position in 2015 from a midfield/forward to defender on the half-back line.

Playing the first 7 matches of the 2015 season, he injured his hamstring in the round 8 match against Hawthorn and was initially ruled out for a month of football due to the injury. After injuring his other hamstring, he missed two months of Football.

He returned to Melbourne in the 2016, round 16 match against Carlton, in the 23 point loss at the MCG. He played the remainder of the season and finished with ten matches overall.

As a defender, 1.81 metres (5 ft 11 in) tall and weighing 83 kilograms (183 lb), Salem plays primarily as a half-back, with the ability to push into the midfield and forward line.

In 2018 AFL Statistics, Christian Salem is the 3rd best player at the Melbourne Football Club based on his 2017 season.